Kinetic Fighting

Personal Combatives

KEF–IC Training

KEF–IC courses focus on principle-based learning to facilitate faster uptake and flexibility in application, so our trainees get the most value out of every short course. Our instructors’ mission is to provide you with the framework and understanding needed to develop the skills taught, as well as your existing skill sets, for effective application in self-protection or on operational duty.

Kinetic Fighting was first developed to keep soldiers alive in war zones. So, even though the KEF–IC program is tailored for use in an everyday setting under common law, the goal of the training is the same: survive, no matter what.

Personal Combatives KEF-IC
Personal Combatives KEF-IC Training

Who Can Train in KEF–IC?

Replacing Kinetic Fighting’s previous P1–4 course modules for non-military personnel, KEF–IC training became available to the public for the first time in October 2018. It is designed for everybody, from professionals who deal with violence at work, to those who just want to feel safer on their daily commute. KEF–IC principles do not discriminate against the out-of-shape, physically challenged or inexperienced. They work because they are tactically and physiologically sound.

If this is your first foray into studying self-protection, KEF–IC courses will teach you the essential principles and key techniques needed to build your capability from foundation level. Through ongoing training and progression through the KEF–IC modules, you will acquire a reliable arsenal of battle-proven combative skills and tactics that can be applied under extreme pressure.

For seasoned martial artists and front-line professionals, a KEF–IC course will not only expand your repertoire of self-defence strategies and techniques, but give you the means to train them. The drills and applications learned will enable you to develop and test useful supplementary skills, as well as enhance your current abilities.

Getting Started

As with everything we do in Kinetic Fighting, your desired ‘end state’ will determine the path you take. Maybe you just want to learn mental strategies and tactical applications to make your existing martial arts skills more effective? Or, perhaps you want to dive right in and take your first steps toward a KEF–IC Black Belt? Either way, a good place to start is with the KEF–IC Alpha module, ‘Self-Protection Essentials’ (no prior training required).

Suitable for both front-line professionals and raw beginners, Alpha is a mix of theory and hands-on practice. On this course, you will receive close instruction in battle-proven principles and survival tactics that are adaptable to any martial art or on-the-job procedure. The four-hour session covers the key aspects of surviving a violent confrontation: mindset, tactics, legal and moral considerations, and functional, high-percentage techniques.

On the Alpha course you will also discover how KEF–IC’s battlefield origins inform everything that you learn. With that in mind, the physical training focuses on the tactical application of predetermined gross motor skills, which are designed for regaining and maintaining the initiative even when in ‘physical deficit’ (meaning, injured and/or exhausted).

Depending on which KEF–IC courses are running in your area, you may also elect to start your training with a different module. For example, Charlie, which teaches you weapon survival essentials, or Foxtrot, which focuses on the ‘soft skills’ required to detect violent intent, avoid danger and manage confrontation. Each KEF–IC module has a distinct focus and allows you to access training in the subject matter most important to you.

Progression and Qualification

Each of the modules mentioned above is a prerequisite for a more advanced module in the same subject stream. These are designed to consolidate and enhance the skills you’ve gained, and provide frameworks for further progression. For those who want to be graded or qualify as an instructor in KEF–IC, the Alpha course must be followed by Bravo, a.k.a. ‘Survivability Blueprint’. This is the second of four modules that must be completed before the first testing phase, for Grey Level (see table below for more detail on this and other levels in the curriculum). The Bravo module is often run in tandem with Alpha (its prerequisite), and builds on the Alpha lessons with four hours of reflex training and drills. With the aim of developing and connecting your skills to form an integrated, effective arsenal, Bravo introduces principles of adaptation and free sparring/rolling to enhance tactical capability. You will also learn grappling skills applicable to the battlefield, and competitive drills that support tactical aims and develop ‘survivability’.

If instead you are simply looking to learn the essentials of self-protection, or to put a more tactical perspective on your current training, you can complete any of the fundamental modules (for which there are no prerequisites). These include Alpha, Charlie, Echo (Combative Grappling) and Foxtrot. You can also do any follow-up module you choose — so long as you’ve done the prerequisite — as suits your own needs and interests.

See the table below for more detail on the grading syllabus and structure, or visit our courses page for information on specific modules and current courses.

KEF White Logo wide quote 3x

Training And Grading System

Badges & Belts

The badges that denote KEF–IC rank have a corrresponding belt that may be worn when training in a gi jacket. The red stripes on the badges and matching red tabs on the belts show course modules completed while at that rank (including any from the sets above that rank), to a limit of four in total. Once four modules have been completed at any rank, no more red tabs will be added until you progress to the next belt/colour level. Other courses may be completed, but core skills must be refined and a test undertaken before progression in rank is allowed. After a promotion in rank, tabs for any courses completed beyond the minimum syllabus requirements will be added to the new badge/belt.

Shown here are the badges and corresponding belts used for ‘Tan Level’, as worn by those who have completed one or more courses but have yet to pass the first grading assessment. The badge and belt combinations for all levels, as well as the assessment criteria for each one, are shown on the next page — starting with Grey Level (1) and progressing through to Black Level (Combatives Master Trainer) and beyond.

Tabs & Degrees

Black tabs (worn on the belt only) represent the level of complementary martial arts skill that has been achieved. This is examined by Jissen Budo International (JBI), the recognised martial arts testing body of the Army Combatives Program. For each Black Belt Degree achieved, a black tab is added to the Combatives Belt, alongside any red tabs.

Gold tabs represent the lineage of Combatives Masters. As each Red or Red-and-White Belt is awarded for outstanding contributions and service to the Army Combatives Program, the preceding Masters add one gold tab to their belt. Therefore, the newest Master will have one gold tab and each previous Master can be identified in the direct lineage of service by their gold tabs.

Instructor Badges

KEF–IC Instructors are certified to teach course modules only after they’ve been awarded the rank that denotes competence in those modules. They must also complete instructor training specific to each module. They will then be awarded a new instructor badge with a letter on it, signifying the module.

For example, a ‘D’ indicates that they are certified to teach Delta module, as well as all modules that precede it in the grading syllabus (i.e. Alpha, Bravo and Charlie.) However, if an instructor reaches Combative Trainer or Combatives Master Trainer rank, the only letters displayed will be ‘CT’ or ‘CMT’.

Grey Level


  • ACP Level 1 & 2, or KEF–IC courses A, B, C, D & E
  • Comprehensive understanding of Kinetic
    principles, maxim and concepts
  • Fundamental combative skills assessed 

Green Level


  • KEF–IC courses F, G & H
  • ‘The Green Mile’: short, SF-style resilience course
  • JBI 1st Degree Black Belt
    • Complete understanding of Kinetic principles, maxim, concepts and tactics, and the ability to
      apply them under combat stress in simulations
    • Enhanced combative skills assessed

Brown Level: CT


  • ACP Level 3, or KEF–IC courses I & J
  • KEF–IC Instructor Course
  • JBI 2nd Degree Black Belt
    • Deep understanding of Kinetic principles, maxim,
      concepts and tactics, and the ability to apply them in combat simulations and scenarios
    • Advanced combative skills assessed
    • Teach all non-specialist modules up to H

Black Level: CMT


  • ACP Level 3 + 2 more, or all current KEF-IC modules
  • JBI 3rd Degree Black Belt
  • Diploma of Martial Arts Coaching (Combatives)
    • Expert understanding of Kinetic principles, maxim, concepts and
      tactics, and the ability to apply them in combat simulations and high-stress scenarios
    • Expert combative skills assessed
    • Teach all non-specialist KEF–IC modules

Red & White Level: CSM

A Combatives Master Trainer is awarded the Combatives Red-and-White Belt when he or she assumes the role of Combatives Sergeant Major (CSM) within an ADF brigade/unit teaching the Army Combatives Program and Kinetic Fighting–Integrated Combat system. A CSM still wears the standard CMT badge, signifying their role in KEF–IC outside of the Army.

Red Level: CCMT

The Red Belt signifies a CMT’s high level of mastery and significant contribution to combatives development, as well as their seniority and lineage in the ACP/KEF–IC system. The title of those who wear it is Chief Combatives Master Trainer (CCMT), and their place in the system’s lineage is denoted by gold tabs on the belt. They wear the standard CMT badge, representative of their role in teaching KEF–IC.